THE MODERN MINT BLOG

Jun25

Gardening Jobs in June

What are the gardening jobs in June? Here are a few of the things we are looking at around the garden… (and if that’s not enough, then for a simple, easy to digest guide, see Alan’s book below…)

Cut back any perennials that are going over (poppies for example) and thin the stems of plants like euphorbia (please wear gloves when you do this, as when the stems break they exude a milky sap that can irritate your skin.)

Mow and edge the lawn every week (but think about some labour saving alternatives…)

Stake anything you have forgotten to stake.

Tie in your sweetpeas – and get ready for their brilliant display!

Plant out tender or ‘exotic’ plants.

Pick and eat your strawberries and raspberries. Is there any better way to watch Wimbledon?

Have you clipped your box yet?

Prune spring flowering shrubs that have now gone over. This is an important one!

Find out if your garden is bee friendly by taking the buzz test.

Be water-wise – you do not need to water your lawn (though the vegetable garden would appreciate some…)

Weed the borders, and while you’re in there, take a look around you. What is working, what is not? Are there any gaps that need filling or unhappy plants that could be moved? Get to know your flowers!

Last (but not least) enjoy your garden. Sit down, open a bottle of wine and get the barbeque on. That’s what it’s all about!

For more information about what to do in the garden now, try these books – they’ll get you inspired…

The Complete How To Be A Gardener

The Gardener’s Pocket Bible: Every gardening rule of thumb at your fingertips (Pocket Bibles)

RHS Gardening Month by Month

… and for something a little more fun, we offer you this lovely book about a guy who began gardening in London during the day, while spending his evenings writing comedy.

Best moment?

Discovering why it is hard to find a good gardener, because they all die out over winter when there is no work to sustain them! It’s a lovely read, enjoy it!

Apr28

Phillyrea From 1682

Worlidge Phillyrea

Phillyrea is one of my favourite plants for topiary. I have been using it for quite a few years as a specimen shrub, mostly due to the fact it clips well and has a tough habit – all good characteristics for a topiary plant. It also has a  reputation for being an excellent nectar source for bees… Read more about Phillyrea here. Mentioning this to Malcolm Thicke, a market garden historian and writer, he sent me a some photos of topiary and phillyrea mentioned by John Worlidge in Systema Horticulturae from 1682…. incredible! He also mentioned to me that in …

READ MORE

Apr27

Kites And Strings Podcast – Topiary In The Garden

kites and strings podcast

Kites and Strings is a podcast about creativity, hosted by US-based Stephen Ploum and Catherine Chinnock. Back in March they asked me to come onto their podcast and talk about topiary, my past writing plays, the stand-up I did and how creativity can fit into your life. The Kites and Strings podcast was great fun and Stephen and Catherine are fantastic hosts. Listening back today I am surprised by some of the ideas I talked about (somehow I even started to describe a future where I run a ‘School of Creativity’ by the sea…. where did that come from?!) but it …

READ MORE

Apr27

Robinia – Pruning A Beautiful Tree For Small Gardens

topiary Robinia

Robinia is often forgotten – by me, actually! – when thinking of plants for topiary. But when I work on it I do love it, brittle and soft as the wood is if you climb into it. But that danger of snapping a branch with a heavy step and falling out of the tree aside, I love it for the dappled light it allows into the garden space. Robinia Near The Sea Below is a Robinia I have gently clipped over the last few years, down near Leigh-on-Sea in Essex. The tree was large when I arrived, although it is …

READ MORE